Kris Kobach Softens Stance On Recount Recusal

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building nex... Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington, DC, July 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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While maintaining that he would not need to recuse himself should his tight gubernatorial primary come to a recount, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said that if his opponent, incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), insists, he will comply.

“Well, if there’s a recount, the secretary of state doesn’t actually do any counting. The recounting is actually done by county election officials,” he said Wednesday to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “So, really, all the secretary of state does is just receive the numbers from the county.”

“So there’s not really a need to recuse,” he continued. “If my opponent insists I recuse, so that the numbers are sent to somebody else, we can certainly do that. But we’re not directly involved in the recounting.”

Kobach took the primary contest by a slight 191 votes on Tuesday, with provisional and mail-in ballots not yet counted.

According to a Kansas City Star report, unless he recuses himself, Kobach’s position as Kansas secretary of state dictates that he would decide the price his opponent would have to pay for a recount, if Colyer decides to request one. This presents an ethical quandary, if not a legal one.

“He could set the bond so high that no one could afford that,” Kansas City attorney Mark Johnson told the Star.

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